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Yesterday, a friend I hadn’t spoken to in a while called me to say hello. As we caught up on the goings-on of our lives the past few months, I noticed we both freely shared what was going well in our lives, but we also were very open with each other about what wasn’t going so well in our lives.

In fact, I started to tell my friend a particular hardship and ended with the classic “but I’m fine.” “It’s ok if you’re not fine,” my friend remarked, and so I carried on with telling her what was causing me some anxiety and let her care for me and my emotions, as last week’s piece by Lindsay Weishar, “When Things Simply Aren’t Fine,” encouraged us to do.

The year 2020 has been hard for everyone in one way or another. I’ve noticed that friends and family are more open about their hardships, perhaps because of this collective understanding that we’re all suffering in some way right now. And I can’t help but hope this tendency to be more open and understanding about the hardships in our personal lives will carry on past 2020.

We’ve all heard it said, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.” Some battles are obvious—like unemployment, sickness, and death—and others are hidden.

This week, we’re talking about some of the hidden griefs women face. Our Consider This column reflects on longing in the lives of women—with a single woman discussing her longing for a husband while she navigates the dating scene and her friendships and family relationships, and a married woman discussing her longing for a child while she navigates infertility. Later this week, we have a longform article about pregnancy loss, and the reluctance of society and the medical profession to acknowledge the loss and grief women feel after miscarriage and abortion—and importantly, how we can better acknowledge that loss and grief.

We’d love to hear from you, too. How have you opened up about grief or pain lately? How did doing so help you cope? Tell us here.